[Home] About Janus Participating Institutions Browse and Search What's New Feedback Useful Links Research Tools
Clare/CCPP contains:
<-- See earlier
ROG Rogers Family Collection
RUG Ruggle Manuscript
SAN Sandys-Renton Collection
SAW Richard Sawtell Collection
SEA Owen Seaman Papers
SHA Cecil Sharp Collection of Folk Song Manuscripts
SHAW Anthony Shaw Collection
THI Sir Henry Thirkill Papers
WAN Frank Wane and Family Collection
WAR John Reynolds Wardale Papers
WHI Whiston Pamphlets
See later -->
Search Janus
Advanced search
Browse catalogues or indexes

More information

Please feel free to contact the repository.


Title Cecil Sharp Collection of Folk Song Manuscripts
Reference CCPP/SHA
(former reference: Acc 1987/25: 1/1-51)
Creator SHARP, Cecil
Covering Dates 1903–1923
Extent and Medium 50 volumes; paper
Content and context

Cecil Sharp ( 1859-1924), Clare 1879, was born in November 1859 in Denmark Hill, South London, the son of James Sharp, a Slate Merchant who made money in the massive expansion of Victorian London and retired early rather than pass the business to his sons. Sharp went to Uppingham School (noted for its music) before starting a maths degree at Clare College, Cambridge in 1879. In Oct 1882 he left for Adelaide, Australia where he stayed for nearly ten years, working for five years as Associate to the Chief Justice of South Australia and then as a partner in a private venture, the Adelaide College of Music. There, despite his lack of formal musical training, he taught Singing and Music Theory, using spare time to write compositions of his own and to conduct the Adelaide Philharmonia Society (see Hugh Anderson 'Virtue in a Wilderness' Folk Music Journal 1994).

In 1893 Sharp took a part-time music post at Ludgrove School, a prep school in North London where he had freedom to create concert programmes with new material for choirs. He stayed there till 1910, combining it with several other jobs, notably as Principal of the (private) Hampstead Conservatoire of Music (1896-1905) and as Music Tutor to the Royal Household (1904-7). He had meanwhile married Constance Birch in 1893 and they had 4 children, settling in Hampstead. He joined the Folk Song Society in 1901 and began collecting Folk Songs in 1903. He proceeded to spend the rest of his life collecting with nearly 3,000 songs collected in England and over 1,500 on his four collecting trips to the Appalachian Mountains in USA (1915-18). He died in 1924 and most of his collection was housed and curated in the Cecil Sharp House in London by his daugher Joan. This later became the Vaughan William Memorial Library. See biography by A. H. Fox Strangways and M. Karpeles (rev. ed. 1967).

Music notebooks comprising hand written manuscripts: Folk Words (19), Folk Tunes (23), Folk Dance Notes (4), indices: Ballads and Songs (2), Carols and Religious Songs (1) and Dances (1)

Acc 1987/25: 1/1-51 - Bequest of Cecil Sharp (1879) - presumably sometime after his death in 1924. (See correspondence 1914 and 1920 CCAD/9/1/5/7 formely Safe A: 17/21) and then transferred by outgoing Fellows Librarian in 1987.

Access and Use

Assigned to Clare College in 2011.

Further information

See biography of Sharp by Maud Karpeles - Cecil Sharp and his work (1967); (on biog ref shelf) also "Still Growing" by the English Folk Dance & Song Society (2003); see also CCHR/4/1/1 for article by Ann Keith on Sharp folk song books

'The dance: An historical Survey of Dancing in Europe' by C. J. Sharp

See CCHR/2/SHA for biographical details and articles on his life and work; See correspondence about bequest, 1914 and 1920, at CCAD/9/1/5/7 formely Safe A: 17/21

See 4 indexes Indexed

Microfilms of all volumes available in Archives; also further microfilms at Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in London, http://www.efdss.org/library.htm;

Index Terms
Sharp, Cecil James (1859-1924) Musician Author Folk Song Collector
Clare/CCPP/SHA contains:
1 Music notebooks. Hand written manuscripts: Folk Words (19), Folk Tunes (23), Folk Dance Notes (4),.
Creator: SHARP, Cecil.
46 volumes; paper.
2 Index volumes.
Creator: SHARP, Cecil.
4 volumes; paper.

This site uses Google Analytics Cookies. By using our website you agree that we can place these cookies on your device.

The webmaster.

Valid XHTML 1.0!Valid CSS!